2nd February 2006




Our fascination with the past has sparked popular television programmes presented by the likes of David Starkey, Simon Schama and Adam Hart-Davis.


Now a senior academic from the University of Lincoln has been awarded a third of a million pounds to fund a research project examining the role television shows like ‘Monarchy’, ‘A History of Britain’ and ‘What the Victorians Did for Us’ play in how we interpret the past.


Dr Ann Gray, Reader in Media & Cultural Studies, submitted a bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for £329,300 for the 'Televising History' project, which will begin in March. 


This is the first major grant from a national funding council for a project conducted solely by researchers at the University of Lincoln.


Dr Gray began studying history TV programming, 1995-2010, in September 2004 with Research Fellow, Dr Erin Bell who will continue working on the project. Their research will include analysis of the experiences of historians and media professionals involved in history programming, comparative research into British, French and German history programming, and the use of history TV programming in schools.


According to Dr Gray the aim of the project is to examine the role that television plays in the production and dissemination of ideas about ‘the past’, particularly relating to national identity.


“Most people learn about the past through the medium of television,” said Dr Gray. “This raises questions about what versions of the past are represented on television and how history is represented.


“There is a huge appetite for history and not just on television. Popular books, magazines and web sites covering the past are flourishing. We want to find out what generates this interest. Is it a nostalgia for the past or a desire to locate ourselves in what went before in order to make more sense of the present.


Details of future events connected with the project will be available shortly at www.tvhistory.lincoln.ac.uk.


For more information contact:

Kate Strawson, Press Officer

(01522) 886244 Visit our news web pages:   www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/latestnews.htm